Most of us don’t think a lot about getting dressed. Sure, you may be conscious about your choice of dress, but the actual task of getting dressed – button-through buttonhole, pants one leg at a time – is an automatic process.
But imagine if you only have one arm. How do you button your shirt now?
Getting dressed with a broken arm can seem impossible. The cast on your arm will obviously present some issues. Adaptive clothing for a broken arm can make it easier to put on and take off your clothes.
The most common types of adaptive clothing for a broken arm include short-sleeved blouses and shirts. The sleeves on these clothes are specially designed to allow the bulk of the cast to pass through.
What Is Adaptive Clothing?
Adaptive clothes are specially designed clothes for people who suffer from a disability or medical condition. Adaptive clothing includes clothes that cater to a wide variety of needs like broken limbs, arthritis, elderly care, and many others.
Some common features of adaptive clothing include clothing that allows you to easily get dressed in a sitting position, clothes that use magnetic closures in place of buttons, one-handed zippers on shoes, and short-sleeved shirts and tops for people with broken arms.
How Does Having a Broken Arm Affect a Person’s Ability to Dress?
A broken arm is a limb injury that involves a broken bone, fracture, dislocation, sprain, or severe injury to the hand/arm. If you have a broken arm, you may also have some damage to the blood vessels or nerves in the affected area.
The main symptoms of a broken arm include severe pain, swelling, tenderness, change of the shape of the arm, and limited range of motion. Other symptoms include sensations of pins and needles, numbness, and coldness along the broken arm.
Obviously, these symptoms will impact your ability to go about your normal day-to-day task. The most common form of treatment for a broken arm is a plaster cast.
The plaster cast protects and supports the arm while the bone heals. The cast often takes up a significant amount of space on your arm. This can make the process of dressing up difficult and time-consuming.
Doctors recommend patients to avoid putting too much stress or pressure on the broken arm. This means that you must exercise caution when using the affected arm in any way.
There are specific types of clothes, like long-sleeved shirts and tops, that you are not advised to wear if you have a broken arm. Also, you may need some assistance when dressing up if the symptoms of the broken arm are severe.
Having a broken arm can lead to a temporary disability to dress which is why adaptive clothing for disabled adults can be helpful during the healing process.
What Types of Adaptive Clothing Are Helpful for People With Broken Arms?
Putting on clothes with fasteners like zippers or buttons may be difficult while you’re wearing a cast on your arm. Wearing clothes with tight and long sleeves is not a good idea as they may not fit over the cast.
The best types of adaptive clothing for people with a broken arm are loose, short-sleeved or sleeveless shirts. Adaptive clothing for people with broken arms is often made using stretchy fabric that is less restrictive in nature.
Loose and stretchy clothes that are easy to put on are highly recommended for people with broken arms. Elastic-waisted skirts and pants are also suitable because you don’t have to deal with fasteners. Also, wearing jackets is not recommended.
Suitable alternatives for jackets and sweaters include large capes or ponchos. You can also use a blanket or shawl to stay warm instead of wearing a jacket or sweater.
Examples of Clothing for Broken Arms
Short-sleeved shirts, tops, and blouses can be extremely beneficial for people suffering from a broken arm. These types of clothes allow the arm to heal without any obstruction.
The clothes are designed in such a way that the sleeves are big enough to allow the cast to pass through when putting on and taking off your clothes. There are short-sleeved t-shirts for both men and women with broken arms.
There are also pull-on pants that help people with broken arms to wear their pants and trousers. These pants are much easier to wear than those with buttons and zippers. Velcro closure pants are an excellent choice if you have a broken arm.
Slip-on shoes may also come in handy when nursing a broken arm. These shoes are easier to wear because they come with loop and hook closures as opposed to laces.
Where to Buy Adaptive Clothing for Broken Arms?
Finding stylish and fashionable clothing for people with broken arms is actually easier than you thought. Many companies today offer a wide variety of clothes for both men and women with broken arms.
Some of the main companies that offer quality adaptive clothing for people with broken arms include:
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Ovidis is a specialty manufacturer of clothing for people with physical or cognitive difficulties. They offer unique and innovative designs for easy and stress-free dressing for people who have trouble dressing, including people who are recovering from a broken arm.
Zappos offers much more than adaptive shoes. They offer many adaptive clothing items as well from many of the popular adaptive clothing brands. Plus, they have an Advisory Council that reviews and selects the items they choose to sell.
Dignity Pajamas has created a nice niche in adaptive sleepwear for men and women. They offer many styles of sleep shirts and pajamas, including open backed gowns and velcro closures.
Being one of the world’s largest retailers, Amazon offers a wide selection of adaptive clothing from many of the most popular manufacturers. Another benefit to purchasing from Amazon is their easy to navigate website and generous return policies.
Etsy is a great place to find one-of-a-kind adaptive clothing pieces that aren’t mass-marketed. Some Etsy sellers even offer custom-made items for special situations or will make special sizes for larger or smaller people.
JCPenney offers a decent selection of adaptive clothing made by standard clothing manufacturers like St. John’s Ba, a.n.a., and Worthington. Plus sizes are available too.
A simple search on the internet can also be helpful in finding specific stores near you that offer adaptive clothing for people with broken arms.
Tips for Getting Dressed With a Broken Arm
Considering that you’ll probably have a cast on your arm for around 6 weeks or more, it’s important for you to learn some ways to cope and go about your day-to-day task. Dressing with a broken arm is something that you will have to figure out and adapt accordingly.
Whether you have a forearm cast or a cast that goes above your elbow, you will want to choose clothes that have short sleeves or no sleeves at all. You will also need to get stretchy, flowy, and loose clothes.
Hooks and buttons are out of the picture unless you have someone to help you dress. The key is to make sure that the armhole on your shirt or top is large enough to get over your shoulder and get your cast through.
As far as pants go, you’ll probably want to go with pants with elasticized waistbands and stretchy leggings. Shoes with no laces are also recommended if you have a broken arm.
Here are some tips that should help you get dressed with a broken arm:
- Avoid any movements which cause pain during the dressing process.
- Ask your doctor or physiotherapist for special assistive devices designed to help people with broken arms to wear and put on clothes and shoes using only one hand.
- Ask a friend or family member for help in getting dressed.
- Use a shawl or blanket instead of wearing a jacket or sweater.
- Choose clothes with pockets that you can use to carry your personal items instead of carrying around a bag.
- Choose pants or skirts with an elasticized waist. The pants should not include buttons or zippers for added convenience.
- • Using your good arm, put your shirt sleeve over your cast first, making sure that you don’t put any pressure on your broken arm.
- • Wear shirts and tops with short sleeves or no sleeves at all.
- • Choose clothing without fasteners like buttons and zippers.
- • Choose clothing made of stretchy material that fits easily over bulky casts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Make Your Own Adaptive Clothing for Broken Arms?
Yes. You can easily make your own adaptive clothing for a broken arm by checking your wardrobe for suitable options and adjusting them to suit your needs.
How Can You Adapt Existing Clothing to Work Better for People With Broken Arms?
You can cut the sleeves of some of your long-sleeved shirts and blouses to make them ideal for your current situation.